Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ho Ho Ho


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mass Effect Review

I'll try to be as objective as you can...while subjectively reviewing a game...ahem.

By the way...I have no money, skint and pennyless due to the cost of living in the UK (beer costs bloody £4.00 a pint..), skint because I live alone (well.. I'm reviewing a computer game mmm...), and to boot it's Xmas time (bloody socially accepted spendfest that it is..)

So I thought cautiously, miserly & carefully before parting with my hard earned cash to treat myself to a wee xmas pressy calling itself "Mass Effect", for my newly repaired (3 lights of doom doh..) 360.

I heard all the Hype about this game, well you couldn't help it could you.. all the "Whoops and Aaaahs" from my die-hard-Microsoft-supporting friendbase. "IT's AMAZING, been in development for 40 years you know.." - "It'll change the way you live your life forever, bring you close to God himself..." were just some of the quotes I received in my inbox..So is it the holy grail of Xbox360 gaming?

IS it Jesus really returning to the Earth this christmas, in the form of a role-playing good-vs-evil shoot-em-up experience?

Well for me, no it wasn't.It's essential good points... are also it's bad points. Role Playing games are great fun (Oblivion), and so are 3rd perspective shooters (COD, Quake, etc etc) ... They just don't always work well together as in the case of Mass Effect.

Building up your character is fine and well, he or she can be your mindless soldier, a magician (Biotics..), or an engineer (erm.. also a magician), or any combo of the above. As in true Role-Playing experience, you lose certain abilities when choosing your character, so the soldier dude loses his Magic.. sorry biotics, and the Bio Dude can only shoot a pistol.... But due to the team based elements you essentially get to use their Bio abilities in the field, so all well there.

The first few hours of the game are linear, breaking you into the combat system, and adding a few points here and there in your character development screen beefing up your Luke Skywalker dude. I enjoyed this for a while, only a while.... Open a container, find Medium Armour, a new pistol, weapon upgrade ammo... Equip it to the character... move on, do the same.... It was here the first break in illusion of the perfect game appeared....

RPG - Although you get to choose which aspects of your character you wish to develop.. it's not really that in-depth, or really 'Role-Playing' in the true sense either... Again all very linear.. If your a Soldier, you get to add points to the Assault Rifle, if your a Bio add points to your distant attacks, there's no real way of developing new skills or bringing anything new into play, it's just beefing up what you already have with the exception of opening up shotguns or the annoying Sniper.

The Combat System - is quite hit and miss, it's not Gears of War, or COD, it's a hybrid of those watered down with ROLE PLAYING elements excusing the fact the game moves as slow as a snail in my pint of beer. Duck behind a dull looking crate (always loads of crates in space...), pop up to shoot a JaJa Binks looking dude, kill him, pick up his bloody MEDIUM ARMOUR, equip it via the Screen, move on do-it-again.... Wow.. it's role-playing meets 3rd perspective shooter.. I was sobering up now..

The Universe - It looks really nice visually by the way, a fine collection of bizarre looking extras from StarWars (well the developers did produce KOTOR and the like), well voice acted with some nice looking planets, face animations, space ships... It's all just a tad BORING... I swear to god, in this game you will meet the most mundane, dull, pointless beings in the universe, converse with them at great lengths about the atmospheric conditions of their homeworld, or hear their woes that some Java has stolen their beer or something. Not very exciting at all... Information overload too, you don't have to listen to every single dialog line (thank god) as you can skip by them, and you will after a few hours... It's just not the Star Wars Universe, the baddies are robots and the goodies have magic powers... Oh wait it IS StarWars, just not half as exciting.

Overall average gaming experience, and the moral of my story is don't buy yourself a game 3 weeks before Xmas, Karma will get you for not buying your mum that silly overpriced Dancing On Ice DVD that she hinted.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

AVPR1a - The Generous Gene

Scientists have just discovered a human gene that they think is responsible for Generosity and Altruistic aspects in a person's character.

This is really interesting methinks.... if true, it points the way that even though people mostly look the same.. we are indeed 'made up' very different.

The Gene is called "AVPR1a", plays a key role in allowing a hormone called arginine vasopressin to act on brain cells.

Arginine Vasopressin is thought to be utilised by the body when bonding with parents, friends, partners anf the like, and relates the information passed to and from the Pituitary gland.

Oh well.. I found this all very interesting and indeed some folk just have the natural possibility to care about others... and some folk don't.... And most importantly.... some folks know how to manipulate this character aspects of people to their own ends.....